Thursday, January 25, 2007
While I'm chugging away on Khaki cables, here's a brief review of the yarn I'm using.Valley Yarns "Amherst" -- this is the 'house' brand of Webs (http://www.yarn.com/), a yarn company in Northampton, MA. It is a 4-ply worsted weight 100% merino available in 17 colors for $3.99 (US) per ball. It's sold in 50 gr. balls, with approx. 109 yards per ball -- I'm not very fluent in metric, but I believe that's a little over 98m. Suggested gauge is 4.5 stitches per inch on size 8 (US) needles. Like many other house brands, this yarn is spun in Peru. One thing that I've noticed with this and other "own label" yarns from Peru is that they are not quite as tightly spun as some others. Whether this has to do with economics, or is simply how yarn is produced in Peru I don't know, but it does intrigue me. Different yarns give different knitting experiences, and this one has been a real pleasure to knit with. It's softness would be suitable for next-to-the-skin wear for most people I believe. Although not extremely tightly spun, it does show good stitch definition. I would anticipate that there may be some pilling with wear due to the fiber (merino) and the spinning. For me, the softness of the yarn would make dealing with pills bearable -- others may disagree. This particular garment is being knit at a slightly tighter gauge than the ball band recommendation -- perhaps this will help with pilling, but only time and wear will tell. I will definitely be using this yarn again, and look forward to trying some of the other Webs yarns. As always, just one woman's opinion.
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
...that I'm of two minds about Nicky Epstein's work. I've admired some of it (mostly older designs) and thought "WTF???" about a good bit of it. So I approach each new book of hers with skepticism. I really liked Knitting On the Edge, thought she plowed some of the same ground with Knitting Over the Edge, and by the time I saw the felted purse book (which title escapes me) I was thinking "dear lord, won't someone please take her needles away" -- I mean a felted swan bag? Does anyone over the age of six really want to sling a